Tis the season to be hacking, Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la

IMG_0632 IMG_0633I spent many hours over the past few days straightening out the charges on a credit card.  I have automatic and instant notification set up, so I knew the moment it happened…. the same charge five times.  Three calls to the trader, two calls to my credit card company, 8 times on hold listening to god-awful elevator music, and I finally got it resolved.  Phew.

We live in trying times.  Instant messaging, instant purchases, instant charges…its all over in an instant.  And the fraudsters know it.  The good news for me is we don’t have anything worth stealing.  We live the low life.  It must be terrible to have valuable stuff other people covet.  “Heavy is the head that wears the crown,”  mom always said.

Message to would-be thieves…my dogs have chips in their butts so don’t even think about it.


I took the photos above at the Heidelberg Bakery, where we bought our lunch yesterday. Great fun.  We went there to buy a fruit cake for David.  And I bought some Christmas cookies too.  The woman at the counter isn’t me, but it could be, she left the store with a big smile on her face.  Such a great place to slide down the slippery slope into fatness. Many oldsters tanking up on seasonal goodies of one kind or another.

I asked Janet, our new very thin neighbor, if I could bring her something from the bakery.  She said probably not as she is Celiac.  So I suggested the Happy Tart Patisserie to her as they bake gluten-free goodies, (like the macarons I love so much). “Just across from the Dairy Godmother in Del Ray,” I said.  I think I like the gluten-free versions better in some ways. Probably will make my way back there next week.


Seth from Merrifield Nursery called this AM.  They are ready to begin the fall cleanup and other work.  He says they will come this week or next. Good.  We need our yard cleaned and the new shrubs and Serviceberry tree planted before snow falls.

Photos below from various sources show the Serviceberry at different seasons, a Virginia native plant, recommended by Lady Bird Johnson for the bird garden.


Serviceberry tree- fall foliage


Spring feast for berry loving birds.


Spring in the Shenandoah Valley. note the limestone.

Amelanchier grandiflora in bloom

Amelanchier grandiflora in bloom


Granddaughter Hannah is coming to see me later this month, probably by train. She is off for several weeks in December as the university closes most of its services over the holidays. Kathy wants to meet Hannah and we will take her to the Benedictine Abby in DC for lunch with the monks. We also plan to have tea at a local restaurant where Kathy painted the wall murals. Great fun. Kathy mentioned the ‘El Greco’ exhibit at the NGA, but I never cared for his art, so we will see about that.  Better plan on three days Hannah.

Hannah is the artist in our family, and Kathy, who has traveled and lived all over Europe learning her skills as an artist, says she loves to mentor young artists (she taught art classes in San Diego California for several years). Several of the Benedictine Brothers are also artists, with their creations on sale in the Abby gift shop.  We want Hannah to meet Brother Isaiah the former NYC cop. Kathy says he is an especially gifted photographer.

My December calendar is filling fast.



38 thoughts on “Tis the season to be hacking, Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la

  1. I chuckle at your reference to going to Del Ray. We have a Del Rey here in the valley. It is just a wide spot in the road and not known for very savory behavior, if you get my drift.


  2. How lovely that you will be getting a visit from your daughter soon. Loved the photos. I really must get back to the Heidelberg Bakery. I see some goodies I could dress my Christmas table up with.


  3. The bakery looks fabulous – and I comfort myself that the odd treat won’t harm. Am down to BMI of 26.2 now, so the 2:5 regime is working well for me.
    Blessings from Dalamory


    • No, the odd treat does not hurt. I reached my goal in WW, but I want to lose more to please my doctor. My breathing has improved dramatically after losing the extra weight. Congratulations to you on reaching the new BMI.


  4. I’m glad you were able to resolve all those fraudulent charges on your CC bill! That happened to us when our son was in college in DC and we visited him. Someone in DC that weekend charged over $4,000 using our CC number! Thank goodness American Express contacted us and close dthe card and we did not have to pay those charges.

    I wish there were a gluten free bakery near me! My daughter-in-law and one grandson must only have gluten free foods.

    Enjoy your granddaughter’s visit! I would love to see the Benedictine Abby one day.


    • Apparently, my problem this time was a computer glitch…I was charged for the same item 5 times. All cleared up at present according to a supervisor. Still it pays to be vigilant.

      I once had my purse with credit cards, etc, lifted right out of my bag while I was shopping at Whole Foods. Before I discovered it was missing at the checkout counter the thieves had charged two SUV-sized tanks of gas at the very high gas prices of the time. American Express straightened out, of course. The “Don’t leave home without it,” is true. I’ve had my card for over 30 years and take it everywhere. A good company.

      The Abby encourages visitors. Look it up online. The Brothers are affiliated with Saint Anselm’s high school for boys.


  5. That looks like a wonderful bakery. I try to bypass those but it’s hard. So glad you got the credit card fixed. I agree with you as far as having very little that thieves would find enticing. The only electronic goody is my 2007 table top computer and they would probably laugh at that.


  6. Crooks are on to us and our belongings. I really must get more frequent updates on my accounts.

    Have a lovely pre-Christmas time. I am sure you won’t rush about like some of these demented people. Lovely bakery, I’d surely buy their stuff and never mind the extra inches round the hips.


  7. So sorry you got hacked! It’s happened to us a couple of times. That’s why I refuse to use a debit card–ever. Credit card companies are very good about getting it all sorted out. Banks take 7-10 days to get your money back. Anyway, enjoy your visit with your granddaughter. I know you’re over the moon excited to see her.


  8. Having some quality time with your granddaughter sounds terrific.
    Loved the photo shares of the trees and berries….so bright, cheerful, and colorful on such a gloomy gray day we have outdoors as I type.

    As for bakeries?—-be still my heart. Literally.


  9. Sounds like fun times with family and friends. And beautiful pictures – the tree and berries – the bakery pics just make me yearn for forbidden sweets!


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